This post was meant to be on “Couchsurfing 101”, but the story turned out longer than expected.. Anyways, while on our east coast cycling tour, my best friend and I were hosted several times by some really friendly folks (I’ll get into that in a future post). Though we only had one experience through Couchsurfing it was among the best experiences we had with our hosts. This was a couple of years ago so I’ll tell the story to the best of my ability. This was my Couchsurfing experience in a short story:
I could never forget our hosts, they were a beautiful elderly couple who also have an inclination for adventure. Their names are George and Nancy. They had done lots traveling in their day and were hosted themselves a couple of times. Their good experience from Couchsurfing inspired them to host others as well. We had such a great experience that one night turned into two. I must emphasize that they were beyond amazing. We keep in touch to this day.
We immediately learned that they were extremely helpful. We were cycling down the east coast and Maine has so so many hills. Because of the terrain it was hard to estimate how long it would take us to get from point A to point B. So on our way to meet our hosts we were still pedaling after sundown. It gets pretty dark up there. Their extra generosity started with them coming to get us miles from their home in their handy Volkswagen camper bus, they just offered.
On top of being helpful they were also extremely giving. Their willingness to give was really surprising to my friend and I, we didn’t expect anything more than a place to stay. As soon as we got to their place we asked them if there was a place where we could order some pizza, and what did George decide to do? He took it upon himself to go get the pizza and pay for it. What? That’s just the beginning.. When he came back they offered us some wine with the pizza and we talked the night away. Each of us got our own bedrooms, and that was pretty cool too.
That night we decided to spend the following day with them, they had invited us to see the coast and that sounded like an awesome idea. In the morning they offered us some eggs that their neighbor had just given them. We made eggs, had some cereal and drank coffee. It was a great breakfast. After all the kindness so far the least we could have done was wash the dishes. NOPE! Nancy saw us trying to do the dishes and she wouldn’t have it. We insisted until she said something along the lines of “no, let me feel like a mother”. Then we began to see where all of the kindness and willingness to give was coming from.
After breakfast we got ready to head out for the day. They drove us to the coast, took us to a fort, treated us to some famous Maine lobster and we hung out at the beach. Later in the day when it got darker we got hungry and decided to get some subs which they also insisted on paying for. As if we didn’t receive enough already, right? In their VW camper they took us to a nearby lake where we ate our subs and camped out for a while. It was a very pleasant day of activities. After that we went back to their home and chatted the night away again.
What an experience
This kind of hospitality should not be expected from anyone and I consider us lucky to have met them. This experience only made me want to return the kindness to other travelers. When you’re treated the way we were treated all you want to do is pass it along. That’s exactly what we did a couple of weeks later. We made friends with other travelers in Boston who were stopping by NY and we hosted them for a week. George and Nancy went far beyond what the community of Couchsurfing is all about. Since meeting them I see how friendly and amazing perfect strangers can be. Now I’m happy to call them my friends.
Would you allow yourself to have an opportunity like this one?
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